Sunday, 12 April 2009

Call me, baby

I picked up Harry Thompson's Penguins Stopped Play again today. He has a superlative anecdote about calling whilst batting in a club game. He prodded one into the offside straight to a fielder, whereupon his partner appeared in front of him and uttered the mysterious and immortal words, 'do you...?'

A run-out ensued, of course. 'Do you' is the kind of brilliantly opaque statement that reminded me of a story I heard about a famous actor, it might have been Maggie Smith, who  knew that every time she went to the theatre she'd be dragged backstage afterwards to meet the leading man or lady, who'd want to know what she thought. Her stock response was to yell merrily, 'darling, you've done it again', a perfectly freighted phrase that says everything and nothing at once. 

With the season so close, it's time to dream about the innings to come, dreams that almost never include some berk appearing at your end saying 'do you...?', or in the case of someone I used to bat with, shouting 'three it' the minute they made half decent contact. 

Do I... No I fu*&%ing don't, pal...

NB: If you've not read Harry Thompson's book I recommend it; it is funny and then genuinely moving. 

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